Don’t Throw Away Your Old Mac mini, Repurpose It – Review Geek

Flip it right into a file server, a emulation machine, or perhaps a Chromebook!

Josh Hendrickson / Assessment Geek
Repurposing an enormous desktop PC is often extra hassle than it’s price. However because of its compact dimension, the Mac mini can simply take the place of a devoted file server, emulation station, or good TV interface. So, as an alternative of dumping your outdated Mac mini, repurpose it!
Observe that Mac minis are inclined to final lots longer than the typical pc. Mac minis made in 2014 can run macOS Monterey, and fashions from 2018 work with macOS Ventura. Even should you resolve to not repurpose your outdated Mac mini, there’s an honest probability that you simply (or another person) can nonetheless use it as a desktop pc.

Flip Your Outdated Mac mini Right into a File Server
Josh Hendrickson / Assessment Geek
Providers like Dropbox and iCloud can help you save and entry recordsdata from any machine. However what should you may create your individual “cloud storage” resolution and keep away from month-to-month charges? A NAS machine would get the job achieved for just a few hundred {dollars}, however should you personal an outdated Mac mini, you must attempt utilizing it as an alternative.
This course of is surprisingly straightforward. All you’ll want to do is allow File Sharing in your Mac mini—open System Settings, navigate to Sharing, and activate File Sharing. From right here, you’ll be able to press the “+” button beneath the “Shared Recordsdata” desk so as to add shareable folders. (Shared folders will seem within the “Community” part of macOS’ Finder or Home windows’ File Explorer. You’ll be able to regulate your settings to stop unauthorized customers from accessing shared folders.)
Moreover, you need to use your outdated Mac mini for wi-fi Time Machine backups. Merely right-click considered one of your Mac mini’s shared folders whereas within the Sharing menu, choose “Superior Choices,” and click on “Share as a Time Machine backup vacation spot.” It ought to seem as a Backup Disk within the Time Machine settings in your different macOS units.
If you wish to entry a Mac mini’s shared folders exterior of your private home, you’ll want to allow Distant Login. Return to your Sharing settings and activate the “Distant Login” possibility. Then, specify which customers can remotely entry your Mac mini. (It’s possible you’ll must allow “permit full disk entry for distant customers,” relying in your shared folder settings.)
Observe that distant entry can enhance your vulnerability to ransomware and hacking makes an attempt. Essential recordsdata or paperwork needs to be saved in a number of places to make sure full redundancy—backups can break!
Additionally, should you use your Mac mini as a file server, you must give it a wired Ethernet connection. That’ll present a lot quicker add and obtain speeds than a Wi-Fi connection, particularly should you entry the Mac mini remotely.
Mac minis Are Good for Plex
For those who’re excited by file servers, contemplate turning your Mac mini right into a fully-fledged media server. You might go down the official route and allow the Media Sharing possibility in your Mac mini’s “Sharing”  settings, however I counsel putting in Plex.
Plex is a media server resolution that permits you to construct a customized streaming service. All you’ll want to do is set up Plex in your Mac mini—from there, the software program will routinely manage your motion pictures, television exhibits, and music. This media can then be accessed from the Plex internet interface or the Plex app, which is out there on all smartphones, tablets, good TVs, and streaming sticks.

The Plex app feels just like different media streaming apps, and it may be accessed exterior of your private home (by your folks or your self) should you pay $5 a month for Plex Go. (That mentioned, I counsel testing the service’s free membership earlier than unlocking further options with Plex Go.)
Just be sure you observe Plex’s set up directions when setting every little thing up. This course of is fairly straightforward, however provided that you observe the directions. Keep in mind that DRM-protected media, together with motion pictures bought from Apple, don’t work in Plex (except you take away the DRM).

Flip That Mac Right into a Chromebook
Apple, Google
In case your outdated Mac has hassle working macOS, you would all the time flip it right into a Chrome OS machine. The Chrome OS software program is extremely light-weight, which means that it really works at excessive velocity on “underpowered” machines. And due to Chrome OS Flex, working Chrome OS on a Mac has by no means been simpler.
The Chrome OS Flex instrument, which is developed by Google, solely takes a couple of minutes to arrange. All you want is a USB drive. When you’re achieved, your Mac will run a modified model of Chrome OS—it doesn’t help Android apps, and it isn’t appropriate with sure {hardware} parts (significantly older stuff, like disc drives). However in any other case, it’s the identical expertise you’d count on from a “actual” Chromebook.

After all, you would all the time set up Linux in your outdated Mac mini. A very good Linux distro like Linux Mint or Ubuntu will get the job achieved and supply huge compatibility for {hardware} and peripherals. Mint is the extra user-friendly of those two choices, however realistically, you must follow Chrome OS Flex should you aren’t an skilled pc person (or don’t have the time to troubleshoot Linux).
Use Your Outdated Mac mini for Gaming
Andrej Antic/
Imagine it or not, however the Mac mini is a reasonably stable gaming machine. Your outdated Mac mini in all probability can’t run  any super-demanding titles, nevertheless it’s good for older video games, newer indie releases, and emulators. (That is very true should you’ve upgraded to an Apple Silicon Mac, which may hardly run any video games.)
There’s an excellent probability that your pc monitor has an additional HDMI port, which you need to use to your outdated Mac mini. You might additionally attempt hooking up the outdated machine to a TV—should you go down this route, think about using Steam’s Large Image mode for a extra TV-friendly expertise.
Those that are excited by emulations ought to attempt Retroarch. It offers a streamlined (and TV-friendly) interface for all your emulation wants. That mentioned, Retroarch is only a front-end software program to your emulators, so that you’ll nonetheless must hunt just a few issues down.
And a fast aspect word; the Mac mini makes for an ideal Minecraft server. Set up the related recordsdata from Microsoft and observe the official information to get every little thing arrange.

Promote, Donate, or Commerce In That Outdated Factor!
Can’t discover a use to your outdated Mac mini? Effectively, you must do away with it whereas it’s nonetheless helpful. Think about donating it to a college or one other facility—Apple has a recycling program, however I counsel on the lookout for native donation applications that make significant change in your group. (Merely Google “native college donation” or related search phrases.)
Don’t need to donate? You might all the time undergo Apple’s Commerce In program to economize in your subsequent machine. Apple received’t offer you a ton of cash to your outdated Mac mini, nevertheless it’s a fast and simple course of.

For those who aren’t proud of Apple’s trade-in affords, you would all the time promote your Mac mini on eBay, Fb Market, or Craigslist. Simply you should definitely wipe your Mac mini earlier than promoting it, as that is the one strategy to defend your privateness and be sure that your purchaser can really use the Mac.
Observe that you would additionally recycle your Mac mini. An electronics recycling facility or waste facility is your greatest guess—yow will discover one in your space on Google. For those who simply dump your outdated Mac mini in an everyday outdated recycling bin, there’s an excellent probability that it’ll find yourself in some landfill midway throughout the globe.